Effective Strategies for Developing Your Leadership Pipeline

Building a pipeline of promising leaders across your business units is imperative to ensuring your organisation grows sustainably under the direction of seasoned professionals. A great strategy to creating a high-performance workforce is identifying talents, cultivating and developing them to become future leaders in the organisation. Succession planning and leadership development interplay because they share a fundamental goal of placing the right talents in the right positions.  

As a result of evolving trends and changes in workforce expectations, organisations now place a premium on developing a reliable leadership talent pipeline for succession and business continuity.  

However, organisations that fail to recognise the collective leadership potential of their employees or do not take leadership development with absolute intentionality are sorely lacking in innovation and are likely to experience unfavourable outcomes in a matter of time. 

Unfortunately, the short supply of ably-qualified leaders is one of the predominant challenges to growth facing organisations today. As a result, many businesses are torn between looking internally or externally for leadership talents who can exceed expectations. Likewise, some senior-level managers feel insecure about developing their potential subordinates to become leaders. 

Nevertheless, leadership development will only happen when conscious efforts are made. Businesses can only ensure the success of their organisation when they commit to strengthening the leadership skills of their employees. Have you ever considered what would happen to your company if you, a senior executive, or a few high-potential employees left? Will the organisation be sustainable, or would it crumble? In this article, we explore strategies for developing your leadership pipeline for succession planning.  

What Is Leadership Pipeline?

Leadership pipeline is a procedure for developing and maintaining leadership succession. Similarly, activities that boost a leader’s confidence, skills, and abilities are referred to as leadership development. They are critical for business continuity and have a solid force to keep your most valuable talents engaged.  

Leadership development is pivotal as it offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to improve their competitive edge in their industries, and it unquestionably delivers impact in strategy and execution aspects. It is a standard process or tool that is part but not restricted to succession planning; it is used to ensure that your organisation has a concrete leadership pipeline -of a high cadre- of future leaders. Therefore, your ability to develop talents internally gives your business a long-term competitive advantage since building future leaders remains a top HR priority of the 21stcentury 

Thus, organisations identify high-performing team members and make them undergo these leadership development programmes. It is a formal process that allows us to measure its impact on the bottom line. Coaching and mentoring are two development methods frequently utilised to help guide and develop leaders. Workforce Group can help you better understand what it takes to develop leaders. 

How do you identify a potential leader?

The ideal leader is adaptable, proactive, strategic, culturally aware, and adept at competitive positioning. You can spot future or emerging leaders, and here are the most significant traits, qualities and behaviours that set them apart. You should start by looking out for these characteristics, which are important for their success as leaders. 

  1. Potential leaders are good problem-solvers 
  2. They are Empathetic and compassionate 
  3. They know how to regulate their emotions 
  4. Possess effective listening and observation skills 
  5. Communicates with clarity and prolifically 
  6. They demonstrate adaptability skills such as self-management and time-management skills 
  7. They inspire and motivate others 
  8. Are quick to display honesty, humility and high integrity  
  9. Display technical and professional expertise 
  10. Display a strategic or growth mindset 

How to Develop Potential Leaders Within Your Company

As business and HR professionals, it is vital to prioritise leadership development activities among your employees; this will help your employee and organisation achieve significant growth. Here are the best ways to build highly effective leaders within your organisation. 

1.Determine key leadership competencies 

You must identify the critical roles and leadership abilities required for the organisation’s present and future success to ensure that the next generation of leaders within your business is prepared for current difficulties and unforeseeable crises. These competencies serve as the foundation of any development plan you choose.  

 In addition, there are three other competencies you should look out for: 

  • Cultural intelligence (CQ): gauges a leader’s capacity to connect with others and perform well in settings involving different cultures. 
  • Digital Intelligence DQ: It is a combination of social, emotional, and cognitive skills that allows people to meet the demands of digital life. 
  • Agility: Involves creating radical change and innovation through collaboration, resiliency and critical thinking skills. 

2. Create a culture that prioritises leadership training and development

Create a culture that prioritises leadership training and development

Giving your employees the professional development they require to enhance their careers is the key to keeping them on board and building potential leaders. You must invest in their development; this is advantageous to you as well because it provides a sizable pool of potent internal candidates for your leadership pipeline and guarantees the success of your organisation. 

However, the training resources might not be adequate if you fail to build a strong learning culture that values self-transformation or actively and openly fosters a culture of feedback and professional growth with all its employees. 

3. Obtain buy-in from executives & key stakeholders

The senior leadership and managers must support it. Success is more likely if the current leadership recognises its importance. Help executives and targeted employees comprehend the immediate and long-term problems that arise when developing leaders from within is not prioritised. 

4. Specify organisational goal

It’s challenging to inspire new leadership in the absence of a clear vision. Hence, senior leaders must consistently anchor in the organisation’s core values and how to manifest them. You can achieve this by identifying the objectives the organisation aims to accomplish through a leadership program.

5. Establish mentoring and coaching initiatives

In developing your leadership, you must establish mentorship and coaching. Hence current senior leaders must devote time to developing potential leaders across the team. Create a mentorship programme and assign leaders the duty of coaching staff members through official and informal mentoring sessions.  

Also, establish relationships among the coaches and mentees. When trust and respect are built, it becomes much faster to transfer knowledge of the industry and expertise, critical organisational procedures, and role-specific hard skills.

6. Identify Leadership Gap

You should conduct an employee survey to assess or discover individuals who need to improve their leadership abilities and those who already possess them; this affords managers and individuals alike the chance to voice their opinions as a result. In addition, it enables you to gauge how workers feel and think about their work, management, and business culture and pinpoint what’s effective and what should be improved.

What Can We Do for You?

Well-defined leadership development programmes develop a solid, richer pipeline of talent, which is why businesses today are working to maximise the full potential of their talent pools at all levels. 

Now that you know the significance of leadership development and succession planning, why not take advantage of Workforce Group’s strategic and sophisticated leadership development programmes to assist in creating a development plan for your potential leaders or improve an existing one. This way, you can achieve the best outcomes necessary to meet your company’s objectives. 

If you need further clarifications or require the help of our senior and experienced consultants, please reach out to us at hello@workforcegroup.com. 

Picture of Olasunkanmi Adenuga

Olasunkanmi Adenuga

Director, Workforce Learning